July 24, 2016

New Online Study Begins In September!

Happy Sunday, everyone...I am making this announcement one week early because I am just TOO excited! This is the new study we will be doing through Debbie Oliver Ministries beginning in September! This study will prepare our hearts, minds, and lives for the brand-new 2017 year! I know, I know...some of you may be thinking, "But it's barely August!" And then I believe those same sweet voices will remember just how quickly time flies, and how we always plan to be prepared and we have "plenty of time". But the days, weeks, and months pass and we find ourselves STILL not in the place we thought we would be!

That is why I have chosen this study (along with much help from the Holy Spirit and confirmations in several areas of my life). I am very excited to journey through this with you and to be a part of your amazing faith walk as we study together and find our focus for 2017. I will have links as to where the book can be purchased soon! In the meantime, if you or anyone you know would benefit from fellowship and a study of focus and growth in an online platform with flexibility, support, and encouragement, please complete the quick registration form below. When I receive your submission, I will be sure you are added to our Facebook study group (if you have done previous studies with me, then you are already in our group!). Once in the group, you will have access to announcement, updates, encouragement, and some fun activities! We look forward to this study, and hope you will join us!


March 3, 2016

Repeat Patterns, Repeat Pain

Why do we re-visit the same circles, over and over? Why do we seem to gravitate toward the same people, when we know that the end result is going to be heartache? Why do we keep re-living the same negative thoughts in our mind that we know always result in self-condemnation and feelings of inadequacy? The overall question is – why are we the way we are?

This is something I have struggled with for many years. I am a very sensitive person. I am a very emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve and would do anything for anyone, while always leaving my own needs and my own feelings in the background. I cry way too often, I get way too passionate about the silliest little things, I get my feelings hurt way too easily, and always feel like I am far too selfish. What engrains these things and thoughts in us? Are they the way that we are raised? Are they the past relationships we experience that cultivate these types of personality traits and attributes in us? What makes us- US? Why are we the way we are? 

I know you're looking for this paragraph to have some brilliant answer for you. I don't. Let's just get that out right now, dash your hopes and dreams right here on the spot. I only know that I was created and designed specifically for God's purposes. I know I was knit together in my mother's womb to the absolute perfection that God desired. What makes me ME is that I am made in the direct image of my Heavenly Father. What makes me the way I am is that I was redeemed and renewed and sanctified by an amazing Savior who paid the ultimate price so that I could have the opportunity to learn, grow, and cultivate into who God initially designed me to be. On our path we make wrong choices, we make bad decisions, we veer off the path more times than we would like to admit. But who God designed us to be from even before we were a thought in our parents' minds is exactly still who we are designed to be today. We may change the course of how we get there by the actions we take and the choices we make, but God's ultimate design from the very beginning of who we are, how we are, and why we were put here remain the same. Sometimes we may never fully understand why we are here, why were are the way we are, and -if you're like me- you might frustrate yourself a whole lot trying to figure everything out. But we know that if we wake up, if our eyes open and we draw breath in the morning, our purpose on this earth is not yet fulfilled. God has us here for a specific reason and He will not call us home until that reason is accomplished.

So instead of searching for what makes us- US, or why we are the way we are – let's more seek what makes God- GOD, and what makes HIM the way HE is. Because we are called to walk in His likeness, to become a new self and to emulate Him to the best of our abilities. So it is by knowing what makes God the way He is and knowing and learning exactly who He is that we can better know how to be like Him. We can learn how to be in a more intimate relationship with Him. We can better understand ourselves so that while we are here on this earth we can relate, have compassion, and love others the way that God intended. 

I'm going to share some of my favorite Scriptures below that state certain attributes of who God is, why He is the way He is, and the way in which we should also live. May they help us to understand what we are to walk this earth like, how we can grow in deeper connection with Jesus, and enable us to embrace and love ourselves exactly the way God made us, even right where we are at! God loves us right where we are, right how we are, and exactly who we are – but He also loves us too much to just leave us there. He has big plans for you, and for me. May we never stop seeking His face and may we continue to strive to love ourselves and others God's way, in order to reach the blessing of seeing our purposes and God's glory revealed!

Numbers 23:19 (NIV) - “God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”

Deuteronomy 10:17 (ESV) - “For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe.”

2 Samuel 22:32-33 (NIV) - “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”

Hebrews 13:8 (AMP) - “For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.”

1 John 1:5 (MSG) - “This, in essence, is the message we heard from Christ and are passing on to you: God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in him.”

Micah 7:18-19 (NIV) - “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.”

Ephesians 4:29-32 (NIV) - “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”

Galatians 2:19-21 (MSG) - “What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that. Is it not clear to you that to go back to that old rule-keeping, peer-pleasing religion would be an abandonment of everything personal and free in my relationship with God? I refuse to do that, to repudiate God’s grace. If a living relationship with God could come by rule-keeping, then Christ died unnecessarily.”

Philippians 1:9-11 (ESV) - “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

July 25, 2015

Change CAN Be Painful...But It Doesn't HAVE To Be.

Life is about change. New chapters. God weeding the gardens of our relationships and comfort zones. Be grateful for those God placed in your life, those He removes from your life, and the unknown paths He guides you towards. His ways are perfect, and He knows what is best for you.

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways," declares the LORD." (Isaiah 55:8 NASB)

Your choices won't always be received well, accepted kindly, or supported...because sometimes we have to grow away from things and people that we are comfortable with in order to be able to grow towards things and people that are better suited for our lives and hearts in the future. But if you know you are following God's calling for you, you can have peace. You can allow hurtful words, gossip, judgment, slander, and hostility to roll off of you with ease and grace. Because God does this for us, we do not do this in and of ourselves. We ask Jesus for his guidance and help to love others when it's hard, to surrender hurt and fear for him to carry, and to allow us to focus on how God sees and loves us. We focus on the fact that sometimes pleasing God means you will displease others here on earth. In a way, that is one sign of increased growth and maturity in Christ. When you are able to care more about following God than whether you will upset others with your choices, you will be freed to live out the abundant life and calling that God has for you. We do not do things purposely to cause chaos or sever relationships, but when that does become the result due to reaction of others, we can still have joy and calmness in the midst of it by knowing we are being true to God and to ourselves. Sometimes it is us that hurts with the decisions we have to make. We may ponder, disobey God, or procrastinate on something we know needs to be done because we ourselves are afraid of change. We are comfortable where we are, do not want to hurt anyone, and enjoy the place/position we are currently in. 

"For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? For if I were still pleasing men, I wouldn’t be a servant of Christ." (Galatians 1:10 WEB)

We all have a heart condition. How we react to others and their behavior is a large indicator of the health of our heart condition. If we react based on emotion or we allow fleshly responses to dictate our behavior, we will have a hard time with sustaining relationship, friendships, or even family harmony. But when we can willingly accept that another person will not like our choices, will not support it, or will lash out because it is not the outcome they desire...it can help us to refine our own character by the way we choose to react (or not react) to it. If we simply pray for the other person, ask God to help their emotions and heart as well as our own, ask God to help us to surrender the situation to Him and give us peace and security in the outcome, He will. When we earnestly seek Him and ask for His strength, guidance, and grace, He is eager to provide it. May we remember to come to Our Almighty Father in each and every circumstance so that we can behave, speak, and live in a way that is honoring to Him, ourselves, and others. Keep your mind and heart focused on God and pleasing Him, and it will make it easier to bear the impact of the actions and reactions of others.

June 23, 2015


I could be richer...but I could be poorer. I could be thinner...but I could be heavier. I could be more attractive...but I could be less attractive. I could be more successful...but I could be less successful.

The list goes on and on. But do you notice the one thing all of those statements have in common? For every envious "I could", it has been followed up with recognizing a blessing of "I could"--showing that perception is half of our battle. If we perceive negatively then we become unhappy with our circumstances and we feel "less than".

"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." (James 1:2 MSG)

However, if we perceive positively we become thankful and joyful. It is up to us to change our perspective. God is good all the time, and all the time God is good. It is not He that ever changes, it is us in our sinful flesh that choose to view our circumstances and situations in a way that can make them much bigger or more stressful than they truly are.

"And because of God's gracious gift to me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you should. Instead, be modest in your thinking, and judge yourself according to the amount of faith that God has given you." (Romans 12:3 GNT)

God sees the good in us, even though we don't deserve it and are sinful and inherently bad. How much more does God deserve for us to see the good in all He does for us, to praise Him in every circumstance, and to remember our blessings--from the biggest, to the tiny and mundane? Because in reality, nothing that has God's hand upon it is tiny or mundane!